PDA

View Full Version : Which tenor... Mainland Mahogany vs Kala Acacia?



EucalyptusMint
09-28-2009, 02:55 PM
My third "which ukulele" thread, sorry... My budget has gone up from the $170 I had before to up to $300 (case included)!!
So I'm torn between the mainland and the kala (ka-asac-t)for around the same price. Can I get your thoughts on how the two compare?

Thank you

mailman
09-28-2009, 03:29 PM
I've never played either of these two, but have read alot about them here. I can honestly say I'd think it is a toss-up. You can't go wrong either way.

The Kala is very popular right now, as it's new and has that slotted headstock. Very attractive, great reviews.

The Mainland is equally as popular. I've yet to see a negative comment about a Mainland uke. Also very attractive with it's characteristic rope binding....

Tell you what. Buy them both, and then send me the one you think you can live without. Then we'll both be happy! :D

existence
09-28-2009, 03:43 PM
My third "which ukulele" thread, sorry... My budget has gone up from the $170 I had before to up to $300 (case included)!!
So I'm torn between the mainland and the kala (ka-asac-t)for around the same price. Can I get your thoughts on how the two compare?

Thank you

Not to confuse the issue even more, but the Hamano H-100T is also roughly in that price range. It's solid mahogany, with a bone nut and saddle, and I *think* they are Japanese-made (which is usually a good thing!)

Check it!

http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/H100T.htm

Happy hunting!

EucalyptusMint
09-28-2009, 04:08 PM
Ahh it looks beautiful, but $330 is kind of pushing it :(

What is the difference between the KA-ACAT-T and the KA-ASAC-T? The ACAT-T is going for $350 at MGM's store, while the ASAC-T is priced at $270..

RevWill
09-28-2009, 04:40 PM
What is the difference between the KA-ACAT-T and the KA-ASAC-T? The ACAT-T is going for $350 at MGM's store, while the ASAC-T is priced at $270..

A slotted headstock.

Link
09-28-2009, 04:49 PM
Can't comment on the Acacia, haven't played it.

The Mainland however, amazing. I have a Mainland tenor, and he's my workhorse. Even named him Epona (Zelda fans say woot woot). Sounds absolutely amazing. Take it to every gig. Intonation is spot on all the way up the neck. Come stock with Aquila, I recommend a change to a more mellow string to really bring out this uke's vibes.

Mainland for the winnn.

Ukeffect
09-28-2009, 04:58 PM
As much as I love Mainlands...(serious uke crush)! I have played Acacia ukes for a while now and I really like the rich sound of them. These new Kala's are awesome, and very...very shweeeet! :drool:

keithy351
09-28-2009, 05:08 PM
kala acacia all the way i reckon, they sound awsome

leftovermagic84
09-28-2009, 05:12 PM
Zelda fans say woot woot

woot woot :rock:

nikolo727
09-28-2009, 05:13 PM
I have a mainland mahogany and I wouldnt trade it for anything in the world. I love it. It was crafted expertly, and even now is showing signs of getting better with age. You cant find a better uke for the price. The ONLY thing that is "wrong" with it is that the action is a little too high for my liking, but even then that is a preference thing, not an actual problem. I got mine, with no blemishes whatsoever. Get the mainland nao.

nikolo727
09-28-2009, 05:14 PM
Can't comment on the Acacia, haven't played it.

The Mainland however, amazing. I have a Mainland tenor, and he's my workhorse. Even named him Epona (Zelda fans say woot woot). Sounds absolutely amazing. Take it to every gig. Intonation is spot on all the way up the neck. Come stock with Aquila, I recommend a change to a more mellow string to really bring out this uke's vibes.

Mainland for the winnn.

woot and woot.

Mr. Miyagi
09-28-2009, 05:39 PM
I have the Kala Acacia and I love it. I've been playing this one a lot since I got it. Sounds and looks great with all the inlay and binding and of course the slotted headstock!
:)

flyingace
09-28-2009, 06:45 PM
Happy with my Kala Acacia. with some worth browns, tusq nut/saddle, lower action and a strap, let alone that sexy open headstock...worth it! Love it!

Matt Clara
09-29-2009, 01:19 AM
The Kalas are all too heavily built for my taste, with a somewhat muted sound as a result. But the two ukes you're talking about are kinda apples and oranges with the two different wood types, so it's hard for us to tell you what you'd like better.

buddhuu
09-29-2009, 02:15 AM
Check out the reviews section.

In particular, look at Thejumpingflea's video review of the Kala acacia. I believe I recall him saying that it was loud.

EucalyptusMint
09-29-2009, 03:40 AM
This is exactly what I expected to happen, I'm more and more wanting both ukes :D

I'm looking for a warmer, fuller, rounder, etc. sound. I say warmer but with clarity of tone. Not really sure how to describe it.
Which is better for this kind of sound?

I watched thejumpingflea's review and the kala sounds beautiful. I haven't been able to find a mainland video with decent quality though.
Thanks so much for all the responses so far :)

flyingace
09-29-2009, 04:14 AM
I have an oscar schmidt solid mahogany concert with worth browns that I would say is far warmer than my kala but the clarity isn't there and the intonation up the neck isn't as accurate as the kala. I've never played or heard a mainland tenor with the same strings, so I can't really say if it will give you what you need. It's hard to live in areas that there are no dealers to go in and try it out as well! I wish I was closer to indiana and i'd have already worked with mainland, for sure, but I'm ever so impressed with Kala, as a company and their instrument quality! You can't really go wrong either way!

veep
09-29-2009, 04:53 AM
I would go with a Mainland .

EucalyptusMint
09-29-2009, 09:15 AM
How is Elderly Instruments as a ukulele seller? Customer service is important to me, and there are tons of good reviews for Mainland, but I haven't heard anything about Elderly regarding ukulele sales
Anyone have experience there?

mailman
09-29-2009, 09:37 AM
I've never dealt with Elderly, so I can't say. But I'm curious as to why you wouldn't just deal directly with Mike at Mainland?

WhenDogsSing
09-29-2009, 09:45 AM
How is Elderly Instruments as a ukulele seller? Customer service is important to me, and there are tons of good reviews for Mainland, but I haven't heard anything about Elderly regarding ukulele sales
Anyone have experience there?

Elderly is an excellent company...Great customer service...I've bought a lot from them and never had a problem...:D

Link
09-29-2009, 09:50 AM
I've bought strings many time from Elderly. Medium-fast shipping. Haven't had to speak to them for anything. If you're going Mainland, I'd also suggest just going through mainlandukes.com.

thejumpingflea
09-29-2009, 10:01 AM
I've bought strings many time from Elderly. Medium-fast shipping. Haven't had to speak to them for anything. If you're going Mainland, I'd also suggest just going through mainlandukes.com.

. . . . .

OR!

The ukulele underground store!

cornfedgroove
09-29-2009, 10:10 AM
honestly at some point, with both ukes being equally well reviewed...buy the one you think is prettier.

RevWill
09-29-2009, 11:39 AM
honestly at some point, with both ukes being equally well reviewed...buy the one you think is prettier.

:agree:

The two are probably pretty equivalent. One may sound a little prettier to your ears or look prettier to your eyes, but I sincerely doubt one is significantly better than the other by any objective measure.

EucalyptusMint
09-29-2009, 03:48 PM
Thanks for all the advice... I have (hopefully) one last question
Which wood is more tolerant regarding humidity? I know they are both solid wood, but I found some complaints of acacia ukuleles cracking. Is mahogany more stable?

Thanks again

chris
09-29-2009, 04:14 PM
I like the Kala Uke, made of the Acacia wood, along with the slotted head ! The tone to me is much warmer, and can be played very loud too, however not as bright (high) as koa, spruce or mahagony top~

EucalyptusMint
09-30-2009, 01:03 PM
Acch both are out of stock now, figures :rolleyes:
Thanks for all the suggestions

RevWill
09-30-2009, 01:14 PM
Are you looking at Ohanas too? They make some dandy instruments in that range.

Mahogany Tenor
(http://cgi.ebay.com/Ohana-TENOR-solid-Mahogany-TK-35G-Gloss-ukulele-w-cs_W0QQitemZ370268031990QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item5635b1cbf6&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262#ht_2386wt_1165)

Cedar Tenor
(http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-MODEL-OHANA-TK-50G-Rosewood-Cedartop-Tenor-Ukulele_W0QQitemZ370268035883QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5635b1db2b&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14#ht_2451wt_1165)

EucalyptusMint
09-30-2009, 01:26 PM
Ahh yeah, I took a good long look at the TK-35 after I saw Ken Middleton playing one in his Aquila vs Worth comparison video.. I figured that with all the praise Mainland has been getting, if I were to get a mahogany uke I'd just go with a mainland. I guess this is a good time to ask, how does the Ohana shape up against a Mainland?
I couldn't find the TK-35 review Ken posted on youtube

haolejohn
09-30-2009, 02:48 PM
The best mahaghany uke is made by www.meleukulele.com
I love the mainlands that I have heard and if I wasn't already in love with Mele I would get a mainland. I did play a kala acacia yesterday at www.ukerepublic.com I believe someone has that instrument on hold but I am sure if you contact him and that person backs out you can get first dibs on it. It was a beautiful instrument that sounded pretty good. It was much prettier than the regular mahaghany ukes. As far as humidity goes, mahaghany has a pretty solid reputation as being a stable wood.

earljam
12-10-2010, 04:24 PM
Thanks for all the advice... I have (hopefully) one last question
Which wood is more tolerant regarding humidity? I know they are both solid wood, but I found some complaints of acacia ukuleles cracking. Is mahogany more stable?

Thanks again

Brought the Kala ASAC-T back from Hilo about a year ago to southern Illinois, no problems so far. I keep it in a soft bag. Like the sound for the price.

Raygf
12-10-2010, 06:02 PM
Acch both are out of stock now, figures :rolleyes:
Thanks for all the suggestions

MGM has the Kala listed $329.

http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-ACACIA-OPEN-HEADSTOCK-TENOR-UKULELE-asac-t-/250740283503?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6149186f

Regards,
Ray

Paul December
12-10-2010, 06:25 PM
I have had both ukes and now only own the Kala Acacia (in tenor length). The Mainland sounds fantastic, but IMO the Kala is something really special with its warm & rich tone that doesn't come off muffled. I think you'd have to spend a *lot* more to do better than it. OTOH I think the Mainland sounded better as a strummed instrument, while the Kala sounds better picked.
I now own the mahogany Mainland in concert size. Honestly, I think overall the concert sounds nicer than the tenor I had - real pretty bell-like tone without being overly bright, and still having the warmth of mahogany.
A couple things to keep in mind with buying either:
- If you get the Kala, make sure to get a picture of the actual uke you'll be getting because most sellers use a single stock pick. I say this because I've seen some of these Kalas with very unattractive wood grain. Also, some of them have fret markers that reverse, which looks odd to me (mine all go the same way).
- If you get the Mainland, expect to have to get the action lowered. Both of mine had high actions and I've read this complaint many times in the forums.
BTW - I noticed there was a Kala Acacia in the sales forum - I don't know, nor have any connection to the .